The Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black Matte with Textured Finish) is an inexpensive, mid-range, general purpose laptop designed to get the job done without undue fuss or frills.
It is powered by a third generation, dual core, Intel Core i5-3337U processor. This CPU makes use of Intel’s Turbo Boost technology to automatically adjust the speed of each core on an as-needed basis, from the base speed of 1.8GHz up to a maximum of 2.7GHz, depending on the needs of the current software application. It also supports Hyperthreading, which enables each core to run up to two threads in parallel, effectively allowing the processor to handle up to four threads at a time. Together, these technologies ensure that the processor makes best use of its available resources, delivering high performance when it is needed, and conserving power when it isn’t.
The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory. Although this should be enough for the installed copy of Windows 8 to perform reasonably well, it is less than is offered on other, similarly specified laptops, and it would have been nice to see the Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK being a little more competitive in that regard. That said, 4GB is adequate, and it is an easy matter to add extra memory, should it become necessary in future.
Similar comments apply to the machine’s 500GB hard drive – other, similar, machines are equipped with larger capacity drives, and it would have been nice for the Dell to match that. Again, however, the supplied 500GB unit should be more than adequate for most purposes, and will be sufficient space to store a fairly large amount of pictures, videos, documents and music.
- Excellent Budget Workhorse Machine
- 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3337U Processor
- 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
- 4 GB DDR3 Memory
- Windows 8
- Underpowered for serious gaming
- May Need HDMI to VGA Adpater
This machine features a 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel, HD (720p) WLED display with TrueLife, driven by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 controller. HD Graphics 4000 should be easily able to cope with the demands of everyday computing tasks – checking email, surfing the web, updating social status, video chat, HD video and standard productivity software like Microsoft Office should be well within its capabilities. However, the demands of modern, sophisticated games are largely beyond its reach, although it shouldn’t struggle with casual games. This is not unreasonable, as this machine is designed to be an affordable, general purpose workhorse rather than a dedicated gaming laptop, but if you’re looking for a gaming machine, this may not be the laptop for you.
One of the general purposes for which this laptop is likely to be used is watching movies, either streamed from an internet service or played directly from the built-in 8X CD / DVD Burner. Although the machine’s display is perfectly adequate for the task, there will almost certainly be times when you’d rather watch your favorite movie on a screen somewhat bigger than 15.6 inches. Fortunately, the machine provides an HDMI port for ease of connection to an HDTV or modern monitor. It is worth noting, however, that there is no legacy VGA port, so if you need to connect this laptop to an older-style monitor or projector, you will need an HDMI to VGA adapter.
Other connectivity options include 4 USB ports, of which two are high speed USB 3.0 ports, for connecting to devices such as external disk drives that require higher data transfer speeds. The remainder are standard USB 2.0 ports, suitable for use with less demanding devices such as printers and mice, although, of course, the USB standard allows for ports and devices to be backwards compatible; USB 2.0 devices will work in USB 3.0 ports, and vice versa, but the speed benefits of USB 3.0 will only be obtained by connecting a USB 3.0 device to a USB 3.0 port.
The Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK also supports Bluetooth, making it easy to connect wireless devices, such as mice, headsets and cellphones to this machine, and an 8-in-1 Media Card Reader makes it just as easy to transfer images onto the laptop from a camera or other device.
This ease of use extends to the full-sized keyboard, which includes a 10-key numeric keypad. Although this may not seem like a substantial benefit, it is almost indispensable for anyone who needs to input large amounts of numeric data.
Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-10000BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an inexpensive workhorse machine with enough computing power to handle routine tasks in addition to some more demanding chores. It isn’t – and doesn’t claim to be – a gaming machine, but it should be able to handle most everyday tasks with ease. More memory, and a larger hard drive, would have been nice, but are by no means essential, and those supplied with the device should be more than capable of getting the job done. For performance on a budget, it’s difficult to see how you could go wrong with this machine.